You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Do I Need an LLC to Start Up a New Online Business?

By Nina Kaufman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I am going to be a wholesaler of tropical fish, corals and things of that nature. I just purchased the domain for the website that I am building. Do I need to obtain an LLC?

There is no legal requirement that you form an LLC (or other entity) to start a business. But here’s the $64,000 question: Do you want to have your personal assets stripped from you? Do you want to be at risk in the event of a lawsuit? Do you want to spend a lot of time and money building a business that will always be dependent on you?

If your answer to any of these questions is “No,” then you should form an entity. Take this seriously. Sketch out a business plan. Project your expenses. Don’t assume that the Internet still operates on a “build it and they will come” mentality. (It doesn’t.) According to Mashable, there are 350,000,000 registered domains, and 150,000 more are added each day. That’s a lot of noise and a lot of traffic to cut through.

If you’re not serious about running this as a business, then figure out how much you’d have to spend on it and put that money toward something else.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

Yes, You Can Buy a Foldable Tiny Home on Amazon — And Now It's Selling for Less Than $12,000

The waterproof and flameproof house was listed around $35,000 a few months ago.

Business News

This One Word Is a Giveaway That You Used ChatGPT to Write an Email, According to an Expert

"Delve" has increased its presence in written work since ChatGPT entered the scene.

Side Hustle

This Insurance Agent Started a Side Hustle Inspired By Nostalgia for His Home State — Now It Earns Nearly $40,000 a Month

After moving to New York City, Danny Trejo started a business to stay in touch with his roots — literally.

Starting a Business

4 Common Mistakes That Will Spell Doom Your Ecommerce Business

It's hard to spot a success story before it happens, yet it's easy to tell if a business will struggle. With that in mind, here are the four most common mistakes people make that you should avoid when starting an ecommerce business.

Business News

Side Hustles Are Soaring as Entrepreneurs Start Businesses Working Part- or Full-Time Elsewhere, According to a New Report

The younger the entrepreneur, the more likely they were to start a business as a side hustle.